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The Porch Café, Crows Nest – Rating: 16/25

The Porch Café

The Porch Café

While Crows Nest  is extremely busy in the evenings, the number of establishments open for breakfast is relatively much smaller.  The Porch Café has taken this opportunity to open and entice some of the morning crowd.

With the ten or so tables inside either occupied or booked by 9:30am, we opted for the sunbathed outdoor tables.

Coffee orders were promptly taken although their delivery speed was not as impressive.  With the same milk pattern pattern and cups being used for lattes, there was also some confusion as to what was being served.  Although there looked to be ample staff, we found the service to be lacking compared to most other reviews.

Large flat white

Large flat white

Large mocha

Large mocha

Flat white

Flat white

Single Origin is served here and the table was surprisingly divided.  The coffee (regular $3.50, large $4) is certainly served strong at TPC which we all enjoyed however some of my guests simply didn’t like the flavours.
Also available are affogato ($6)hot chocolate ($4)chai latte ($4.50)iced latte ($5.50) and a huge array of other coffee formulas as well as organic teas ($4.50).
Banana and strawberry smoothie

Banana and strawberry smoothie

The smoothies ($6) are available with strawberry, banana or both which I ordered.  Quite milky and very icy is fine as long as there is plenty of flavour to go along with it which I unfortunately didn’t detect.
Harvest breakfast

Harvest breakfast

For the hungry, I suggest the harvest breakfast ($19).  The two fried organic eggs are topped with plenty of paprika and were served with a runny yolk as one would hope!  A seasoned field mushroom is served with (let’s call them) potato poppers which weren’t mentioned on the menu.  My guest thoroughly enjoyed these as he did the pork and fennel sausage which was quite a decent size.  To the side were also wilted baby chard and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.  The serving board was quite full but the presentation was still commendable.
"Porch-ed" eggs

“Porch-ed” eggs

Apparently the smear is still ‘in’ as I found out with my breakfast.  The “Porch-ed” eggs ($19) is based on a toasted croissant with either smoked salmon or Black Forest ham.  My ham was cut thick and tasted great.  I understand that the saffron poached eggs would slightly put the price up of the dish but seeing as it contributed little flavour, I would happily see ‘normal’ poached eggs.  Either way, mine were poached well and topped with something I haven’t seen before: blood orange hollandaise.  I’m very critical of variances to traditional hollandaise but I can recommend this slightly sweet version.  There was, once again, lashings of paprika.
I can see that they are trying to be artistic with their presentation however I think that the avocado velute (which was more a smash and less a sauce as the name would suggest) should rather have been served more elegantly, in a small bowl.  Either way it was seasoned well and combined nicely with the tomato and chilli salsa.  There was essentially no chilli that I could detect though.
Gourmet burger

Gourmet burger

 The gourmet burger ($15) is a towering presentation which includes patties, fried eggs, more of the salsa and avocado which appeared with my dish and soft brioche bun.  As sacriligeous as it may be to say, hands would get you nowhere with this burger.  It began to fall apart as soon as my guest gripped it.  The soft brioch although flavoursome, didn’t help matters.  He enjoyed it overall but was expecting more unison from the flavours and better presentation (throwing more paprika on the plate did not help).
Shakshuka

Shakshuka

 The shakshuka ($16) is priced quite well.  It’s a large serving and comes with Turkish toast on the side.  The eggs were still quite soft yet all of the white had just been cooked through so that’s a plus.  The tomato base was thin and dotted with quite a lot of “spicy Turkish” sausage.  My guest would have preferred less sausage as she thought it dominated too much of the dish.  It’s all topped with a generous amount of Danish feta and she made pretty short work of this dish!
Other dishes on the menu include house made granola with blueberries, yoghurt and poached pear ($12.50)crunchy brioche French toast with berries, marscapone and maple syrup ($15) and Arabic scrambled egg with caramelised onion, coriander, cumin, cherry tomatoes and toasted sourdough ($12.50).
Overall I found our dishes to be overcomplicated.  Porch’s menu has some great ideas but they weren’t always executed or presented too well and came with too many items that didn’t work together.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy your meal but there are better options.  Feel free to comment on whether you agree or not.

Taste: StarStarStar
PresentationStarStarStar
Service: StarStarStar
Atmosphere: StarStarStar
Value: StarStarStar

Overall Rating: 16/25

Website: http://theporchcafe.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/PorchCafe
Phone: 7900 6903
Address: 72A Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, 2065

Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash

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